TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Some Democrats are vowing to fight a provision in a proposed health benefits law that would limit New Jersey public workers’ access to out-of-state medical care.

It restricts the use of out-of-state doctors and hospitals unless similar care isn’t available in-state. There are some exceptions, and employees would have to be offered a more expensive option to keep out-of-state providers.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman says it’s imperative workers have access to the same level of benefits. But Senate President Stephen Sweeney says the state’s doctors and hospitals are as good as any and their use should be encouraged.

The teachers union says Sweeney’s friend, South Jersey political leader George Norcross III, would benefit from the provision. But Norcross, who heads Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital, denies the allegation.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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